You knows the sensation of being stared at, right?
You get a weird feeling, you look over your shoulder and you catch someone looking at you (as they try to break a land speed record for the world's fastest look-away). I'm pretty sure that's happened to everyone at least once.
The sensation of someone touching your nose, though: I don't think that is quite as common. But that's exactly what happened to my friend Kate this week.
For a whole week she had been suffering from the maddening sensation that someone/something was touching the tip of her nose. Constantly. And it was driving her berserk.
What could Kate do about it though? Besides nearly rubbing her nose off her face, of course. Who do you go to for help?
"Doctor, it feels like someone is touching my nose all the time. What should I do?"
doctor starts writing a referral to a psychiatrist...
Sometimes nerves just misfire. Sometimes they fire for no good reason at all, like when a muscle in your leg twitches even though you're sitting down. And sometimes, your nose gets itchy for a week.
Kate asked me if there was anything I could do for her. Initially, it stumped me - I'd never seen this problem before. "Patient feels like someone is touching their nose" is certainly not a symptom in any textbook or classical chinese literature I've ever read.
And then I thought - why not set it on fire?
This is what I did:
I took a little pinch of a fluffy golden herb called Artemisia Vulgaris. This is what we call "moxa" in the trade.
Then, I rolled a tiny little piece of it, about the size of half a grain of rice.
I put this piece right on the tip of Kate's nose, and set it alight.
GENTLY, though! I used my fingertips to control the amount of heat produced. There was no burn, just a pleasant sensation of warmth. I did this ten times in total. Only took a couple of minutes.
The next day Kate told me that her nose dysfunction was over.
Do you have a problem that seems too strange to tell your doctor about? Maybe you're worried that you'll be told your illness is "all in your head".
What if it's not just in your head? What if the doctor is just not looking in the right place?
Sometimes a GP just doesn't have the tools to help you, and they can be tempted to tell you that your problem doesn't really exist.
If you've been stonewalled in this way, I might be able to help.